Thursday, July 2, 2009

You Have to Hear This Guy

About four years ago I met Neal and Kathleen Carlson. They were about to have their first child, and we got together to discuss his baptism. Kathleen is a graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Chicago, a great school. And Neal was working as lead singer in a band called "Mink". Here's a fun Mink video, just to give you a flavor:

As punk/Red Hot Chili Peppers as that song is, Neal was a quiet guy when they came to see me, very polite and a little shy. The three of us had a great conversation.

Flash forward to a couple months ago. Kathleen sent me an email to say that Mink had broken up, and Neal was teaching guitar and writing. He had just completed an album, "I Feel Free," and if I was interested, I should go to his website, and download it.

So I did. And I want to tell you, you all should do, too. It is a GREAT album -- not punk (sorry for the punk enthusiasts), but a wide spectrum of infectious poppy rock songs. If you go to Neal's website, you can take a listen to the 12 tracks. You can also download the album for free, and/or pay what you want. And 25% of what Neal earns he's giving to the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital -- which is amazing, right?

My favorite tracks are #7 and #8 -- "My Time is Now" and "Run To You"; I swear, I listened to them once, and then I was just looking for places where I could safely sing them over and over again at the top of my lungs -- not an easy thing to find in a Jesuit community, either. (Eventually I began walking the streets of Santa Clara, where no one knows me, singing at the top of my lungs. It was AWESOME.) And there's lot of other great tracks, too.

So do me a favor -- check this guy out. You will not regret it. Just remember to be generous. Neal and Kathleen are supporting two small kids, living in New York. It ain't easy.

It's not often I get the chance to share something as neat as this. I hope you enjoy it.

PS Neal has another album on the site called "Big Rock for Little Kids" -- it's AC/DC sounding tunes, but for little kids. A wild combination, I know, but it's fantastic too. Hysterically funny, and clever. (To hear snippets or download it, go to his "Music" link, and you'll find it beneath "I Feel Free". I can't stand AC/DC and I loved it.)


Kath said...

I just got two little ones into bed and came across your blog! What a doll you are. And, the feeling is mutual in terms of us thinking you are super too:) These songs on I Feel Free are such a collection of the last two years, which you know have been so full of change for us. Thank you for this. xo

Jim McDermott, SJ said...

You're welcome, Kath. Bravo to you guys. It's really neat to hear.